|Sensational Alex Harvey Band Liquid Rooms (NOT) Edinburgh 2/12/09|
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This was a weekend do with Mo and Ash, leaving Friday and coming back Sunday, so as we boarded the flight from Stansted (an hour late), I had the Typical Tropical hit going through my mind, "Going to Barbados," but we was going to Scotland instead, not much difference. At Edinburgh airport we was met with a half hour wait for a cab, so by the time we got to the hotel we were about 2 hours later than we expected. We were staying at the Royal British Hotel on Princes Street. It is an old hotel which has been well used but is clean and comfortable and for £30 a night with a great view from our bedroom window, overlooking the castle, who could complain.
So what do you do on a Friday night in Edinburgh, easy a pub crawl down Rose Street, we started at the first one and finished in the last one and only missed a couple out, we had Deuchars, 80 shillings, 70 shillings and other beers which I cant remember. A good night out, but there are no eateries here so I ended up with mince pie and chips. The pie was awful and went in the bin. Back to the hotel to try and get into an office party but it had just finished. So we retired to the bar for some well deserved brandies and Baileys. Then to bed, I think that have mentioned in my reviews about Maurice’s nocturnal noises before, I would like to report they have probably got worse. Still a nights sleep was had by all. As we awoke it was with the realization that breakfast ended at 10.00 so we rushed to get showered and dressed being entertained by Mo looking for his wallet which he said someone had stolen it when he was asleep or we had hid it for a laugh. After he had emptied his case for the 5th time, he decided to look under it and found it where he had hidden it for safe keeping. Anyway we gotb to the breakfast room with 2 minutes to spare and probably had one of the worst cooked breakfasts that I have ever had.
Worse was to come though as we learned that the venue for the night, the Liquid Rooms had burned down during the night and the gig was in jeopardy. We hot footed it to the Old Town to find the smouldering ruins of an Indian restaurant and the Club for the night. SAHB were doing Friday and Saturday night here and the fire started 10 minutes before they came on. Fancy coming all the way to Scotland to see an old 70’s band who no one under 45 has heard off, but when you get there in the words of the great Alex "This concert is cancelled," you couldn’t make it up. All was not lost using the magic of the internet, we found that the gig had been moved to Venue 24, as long as new equipment could be found, as all the bands stuff was destroyed in the fire. So after a walk around the castle we had a look at the new venue, which was in the probably the seediest part of town. It was amusing to see Maurice frightening the life out of a young roadie, shouting at him from 2 feet. I am sure he’s going deaf.
Then a quick taxi to Tynecastle to watch the mighty Hearts draw 0-0 with Dundee Utd. Another new ground to tick of my list. I really enjoyed myself, the natives were really friendly and I know both sets of fans didn’t think so but I thought it was a good game. I am now a fully fledged fan and even own a Hearts scarf and support the Scottish clarets. Better news awaited at the end of the gane, high flying English clarets, Chelmsford City had even pinched a win and soared away at the top of the Blue Square South.
Then onto the night and the main event. The plan was to try a few pubs on the way to the venue, watch the band and then a Curry. I don’t know whether we was in the wrong part of town or there are not many Indians in Edinburgh but the only one I had seen all that day was next to the Liquid Rooms and that one had burned down. So we made enquiries at the first pub and found that there was one just down the street. We booked for half 10, because as everyone knows these gigs always finish at 10. The next pub we went in had the strangest thing of the weekend. We met 2 English lads and after chatting to them we found out that they had come all the way from England to see Cowdenbeath, a Scottish 3rd Division side??
A short walk to Venue24 where thankfully the gig was still on. Venue24 is a good place to see bands, as most of these places, the bar is at the back and it has an atmosphere which can only be described as grimy, dark and sleazy. There was the usual music before the band came on ZZ top, AC/DC and a song that I have not heard for ages "My Sharona," enjoyed that one. Just after 8, a couple of lads came on the stage to tune up the instruments. I was wrong they were the support, the very heavy rocking Wired Desire, they were excellent, loads of attitude and bollox. They played, I think all of their own songs and it was all fast and loud. They come from Glasgow and if you get a chance see them.
The main event was next, I didn’t know what to expect, no Zal, a fire the night before and borrowed equipment. As they came on you could tell it would be different, not the trancy dance copy to start off the "Faithealer," but what sounded more true to the original. It was strange to see a new guitarist Julian Saxby instead of Zal, but to upset many of SAHB’s loyal fans, I thought it was better. He certainley is not the showman that Zal is but he plays more to the original sound and feel of the 70’s band. With Zal he was going down a more heavier route and making songs such as Vambo menacing. I really should have done this review straight afterwards as I can’t remember the set list, but suffice to say a lot of the favourites were there, "Amos Moses," "Last of the teenage idols," "Delilah," "Boston tea party," "Tomahawk kid," "Gangbang," "Next," and a version of "Framed," which had the previous nights fire brought into the lyrics. Halfway through "Vambo," all the sound went apart from the lead guitar. Old Zal must have been wetting himself what withnthe fire as well. The most noticable thing was the ommissions from the set. The more notable missing tracks were "Compliments to the Chef," "Isabel Goudie," and the "Hammer song," plus a host of others. I don’t know why this was, perhaps they couldn’t do these songs justice on the equipment they had or perhaps they was just too shook up from the night before. Anyway I am glad they did the gig. I thought Max was forgetting his lines a bit too much but apart from that, they were as tight as usual and with the new guitarist can only get better.
The gig finnished at 11.30 so we missed our curry and had to do with Burgerking, bloody horrible, still Mo managed to eat 2 of the Angus meals. We went back to the promised land of Essex the next day with no mishaps reflecting on what a top weekend it was, we found that the SAHB fire had made the Sunday papers at the airport newsagent
Ash and Maurice were excellent company, the beer was good, the gig wasn’t bad, the football was ok, Edinburgh is a fine city, with lots of old interesting buildings and what seemed like a statue at every corner but next time I go I will make sure that I know where the decent restaurants are.
Duncan December 09
COMMENTS (new March 2010)
COMMENTS (new March 2010)